Oh yeah, they hauled a$$. If you go to the screwedbyata website, one guy confronted the Williams' at a gas station. He found out where they lived and follwed them from their house. He said that they had personal belongings in their vehicle. Hmm, personal goods in vehicle, stopping at gas station? Sounds like they were hitting the road to me! I feel for you ATA guys. ATA was one of my choices, but while I was at the AOPA Expo this last Oct. I tried to talk to the guy at the booth and he pretty much ignored me, so I figured that if he didn't give me the time of day, I wouldn't give them my money or patronage, pure and simple. The Williams' need to be put out in the town square and be stoned!
WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA! Wait a minute - I tried searching for ATA online and came across www.atatraining.com and this is NOT related to the ATA company that is out of business. ATAtraining.com is a company (aparently called Avaition Training Academy) that does aircraft mechanic training - NOT flight schooling. I called the company's 800 number and asked if they knew anything about it and they were shocked. So... just to let you know, this issue is NOT related to the ATA who's website is www.atatraining.com - they're based in Indiana, and not out of Orlando.
Now this might get me yelled at but hear me out....
I have said since day 1 that I feel very bad for these students and employees. I've offered my couch to any of them that are homeless, I've even thought about going up and protesting on front of Discover Air this weekend. The Williams are nothing more than trailer trash scum. The students should receive every penny back, although they most likely will not.
That being said, I hope everyone has learned from their mistake. I think they'd agree with me in saying publicly and loudly, "CAVEAT EMPTOR!" Buyer beware. Never pay up front, never pay without some security (using CC, escrow account, collateral), never trust a flight school that's been in business less than a decade with your $$!
I read one poor guy's post where he spoke of wiring 75K over to them in order to get a "job guaruntee". He never stepped foot in an airplane! Folks....NO SUCH THING! NO GUARUNTEES! 55K for the "program" and 20K for living expenses and rent money. WHY would you pay your flight school living expenses to be returned to you later? At the least you are losing interest, at worst you get ATA'd.
Say it to yourself three times....caveat emptor!
If it sounds too good to be true, it is, ESPECIALLY in flight training. Be smart consumers, do your homework, and when most of the posts about a school on JC are negative, your eyebrows should be raised!!!
The problem is that most people trust the ads and don't crosscheck information on the internet, amongst their peers, the BBB, or even ask, "Just how the ("F"-Bomb) are you going to guarantee me an airline opportunity in this job market?"
I wouldn't give McDonalds $3.59 today to guarantee me a hot #2 Value meal tomorrow, like hell I'd feel comfortable wiring anyone $60,000-plus in anticipation of recieving a product/service down the road.
Here's a quick example. I'm paying a tax professional to prepare my taxes for the 2002 tax year. My wife and I met her about an hour one afternoon, discussed our situation and cut a check to pay her for her services.
"Umm, don't pay me for services I haven't rendered yet"
And if an accountant, whose entire world revolves around money won't accept money for services that haven't been renedered, I sure in (expletive deleted) wouldn't trust anyone else.
But in the meantime, let me know how I can help in the fight/apprehension/etc against ATA.
Well out of the $4.5 Million the laywer(s) will get on average 30% of that, so thats about $1.37 millon right there and the rest will be left to split. Now this is a best case scenario which never happens. Odds are they will settle for a settlement thats worth much less than the lawsuit. If they were to go to trial, those pilots would have to pay for ALL trial costs with there own money.
To me it looks like ATA had been in trouble for a while, they had to of had some serious debt. Think about all the money these guys were getting up front. $30k here $15k there, you'd think they would have been able to pay the bills.
Not to be the bearer of bad news but...According to my father is a local attorney in Orlando and whose former partner in a law firm is a lawyer for ATA, ATA has secured loans on their aircraft. Those secure creditors are the ones who will be paid first assuming ATA declares bankruptcy at some point. The unsecure creditors (students) are last on the money list. The odds of them getting anymore than 10% of what they gave are unlikely.